The ArcPad Team Blog

Unofficial stuff from the team behind the World's leading mobile GIS platform

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Raster Tips #2 - Creating smaller/faster TIFFs

Want to create fast and small TIFF files for ArcPad?

I'll show you how to convert your rasters into high performance TIFF-LZW or a TIFF-ZIP image for ArcPad 7 using a combination of ArcGIS 9.X and IrfanView.

A. Install IrfanView
1. Go to
2. Download and install the free software

B. Check your File Explorer settings
(You need this step so that you can find the BMP world and BMP projection files later)
1. Start File Explorer
2. Tools > Folder Options
3. Click View tab
4. Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
5. Click OK
6. Close File Explorer

C. Use ArcMap to generate BMP, BMP world and BMP projection files
1. Start ArcMap with a blank empty map
2. Add your original raster image to the Table of Contents
3. Right click on the image > Data > Export Data (an Export Raster Data dialog should appear)
4. Set Format: BMP
5. Check Use Renderer
6. Check Force RGB (required for aerial photos/satellite images other you may leave unchecked)
7. Click Save button
8. This will create a BMP, BMP world file (filename.bpw) and a BMP projection file (filename.bmp.aux.xml)
9. Quit ArcMap

D. Use IrfanView to convert BMP to TIFF with LZW (or ZIP) compression
1. Start IrfanView
2. Open the BMP that you generated in step C
3. Save As
4. Save as type: TIF
5. Save Compression: LZW or ZIP (ArcPad supports both, but ArcGIS supports LZW only)
6. Click Save
7. Quit IrfanView

E. Manually create TIFF world files and TIFF projection files
1. Start File Explorer
2. Copy and rename your filename.bpw file as a filename.tfw file creating the TIFF world file
3. Open your BMP project file (i.e. filename.bmp.aux.xml)
4. Locate the projection string, (usually inside the SRS tags)
5. Copy only the projection string to clipboard
6. Start Notepad
7. Paste the projection string to Notepad (usually looks like PROJCS[... ] )
8. Save the projection file as a TIFF projection file (filename.prj)
9. Close Notepad
10. Close File Explorer

That's it, the TIFF, TIFF world and TIFF projection file are ready to use in ArcPad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Using a ToolBox Model to create a customised ArcPad Check Out

ArcPad 7.1 brought some great improvements to the way that users could check out/in their data, with the ability to associate ArcPad Layer Definitions (APL's) to a new check out in ArcMap, and also the new ArcToolBox tools which can be used with other geoprocessing tools to automate a complex check out/in process.

Assume you have a project where you routinely update your geodatabase with field data. You have several field workers, they each collect and return information which you put back into the central database, and each worker needs an up-to-date version of the whole database (with everyone else's edits) each time they go back out. You have created custom forms for your users to collect data, and you simply want to run a tool that provides current ArcPad files for your users each day (or week or month).

This is the type of task that the geoprocessing tools are really designed for. To complete the scenario above we have built a sample ArcToolBox Model which uses the the ArcPad Check Out tool to create a fresh checkout of data (a "target" AXF), and a standalone utility (called AXFCopy) which copies layer definitions and file store entries from a "source" (or template) AXF to the "target" AXF.

You can download this sample from ArcScripts and customize for your own projects from:

Please read the enclosed word document for installation, use, and customization guidance.

The sample contains a Toolbox Model that produces a customized ArcPad Check Out of the Riverside data. The model uses the existing Riverside.axf sample as a template for the customization, but performs a ‘fresh’ check out of the data (called Riverside_Target.axf) from the geodatabase every time it is run.

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 ESRI Developer Summit ArcPad Video Online

If you missed coming to the 2008 ESRI Developer Summit, or just want to relive those precious moments there, the video of the "Programming & Design Patterns for ArcPad" session can now be viewed online on the ESRI Developer Network :

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Printing for ArcPad

The desire to be able to print from ArcPad has been around for a while. To date (and for the foreseeable future), our philosophy has been to keep the user experience between the Windows Mobile version of ArcPad and the Desktop version near identical. With the distinct lack of mobile printer drivers, adding the ability to print from ArcPad has remained outside of ArcPad's release schedule.

Of course that doesn't mean that people still don't just want to print from the Desktop! Developed by Explorer Graphics, XPLprint offers users the ability to print map images direct from a desktop installation of ArcPad.

The application is very simple to use and allows you print A4, letter or legal maps with a title, choice of map units, notes and your logo. The area displayed in your map window is what is used in the map. This is an excellent application for producing quick simple maps to compliment a field GIS project. EGL acknowlege that there are some limitations in the product (eg: some complex symbolgy is represented differently on the map to that displayed in ArcPad), so i can only recommend to you to be careful to study the documentation whilst appraising the application.

If you have an ArcPad innovation you'd like to share - please contact us - we'd love to hear from you!

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